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Benjamin Chase. A family member was perfect for this unsavory task that Washington wished to keep under the radar. The New Years’ Day reception became a White House tradition with President John Adams in 1801 and ended with President Herbert Ho... Congress passed the Compensated Emancipation Act to end slavery in the District of Columbia and President Abraham Lincoln signed the... Women are often overlooked in history for their role in the institution of slavery. When Bassett dined with Langdon and told him of his intention, the senator quickly got word to Ona through one of his servants. The Massive, Overlooked Role of Female Slave Owners. Over a month after the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills cast member filed for divorce from the famed attorney, a […] PORTSMOUTH, N.H. — Stepping off a boat in New Hampshire port in 1796, 22-year-old Ona Judge was on the run from the family of President George Washington. Ona probably attended this church to hear Reverend Samuel Haven's sermons. Ona married John Staines, a seaman, on Jan. 14, 1797, and settled in Portsmouth. Technically, Ona was owned by Martha Washington’s first husband so she would not have been qualified to receive liberation in George’s will, meaning her only hope was to take the risky running into her own hands. Husband … But because her mother was enslaved, Judge, by law, became a slave, too. But New York City, and then Philadelphia, offered new opportunities.4 Ona encountered a sizable free African-American community for the first time, saw interesting sights, tasted different foods, and met new people. But when Whipple arrived at the docks to ensure Ona boarded the ship at the agreed upon time, she never arrived.18. N ever Caught is a nonfiction book about the life of Ona Judge, a woman who was enslaved by George and Martha Washington and escaped.. Much like George’s enslaved manservant, coachmen, and postilions, these individuals wore fancy livery because their uniforms needed to reflect the president’s wealth and status; Ona’s clothing was an extension of Martha’s status. To help make ends meet, Ona continued her domestic work and they took in a boarder in one of their extra rooms.17, Washington made two concerted attempts to re-enslave Ona. Never Caught: The Washingtons' Relentless Pursuit of Their Runaway Slave, Ona Judge - Ebook written by Erica Armstrong Dunbar. Ona likely made her way out of Philadelphia immediately to avoid being recognized by Washington’s contemporaries.14 In one of her later interviews, she revealed that she had escaped on a vessel commanded by Captain John Bowles, who left Philadelphia and eventually made his way to Portsmouth, New Hampshire. This article was originally published She has written several books, including the award-winning middle grade novel Drizzle. by the Rev. There are seven enslaved people that go, only two women, and Ona’s one of them. Her mother, Betty, was recognized as the finest seamstress on the plantation and was a “dower slave,” technically still owned by the estate of Martha Washington’s first husband, Daniel Peake Custis. Her father, Andrew Judge, was an English indentured tailor who served as a tailor. How many weddings have been held at the White House? This article would not be possible without her scholarship. The gunman arrived at the home of Judge Esther Salas in North Brunswick, New Jersey, around 5 p.m., NBC New York reported. Though Ona Judge lived a life of relative comfort, the few pleasantries she was afforded were nothing compared to freedom, a glimpse of which she encountered first-hand in Philadelphia. Members of the free black community helped her get aboard a ship commanded by Captain John Bowles, who sailed frequently between Philadelphia, New York and Portsmouth, New Hampshire. At sixteen, Ona may have been growing still and she may have outgrown her earlier shoes. Unlike Washington’s other enslaved servants in Philadelphia, Ona received new shoes several times per year while working in the President’s House.6 Perhaps Ona wore out her shoes while accompanying Martha on her visits. Ona Judge Staines lived with her husband and their three children until Jack’s death in 1803. Salas was reportedly in the basement at the time of the shooting and was not injured. When he married the wealthy widow Martha Dandridge Custis in 1759, she brought more than 80 enslaved workers along with her, bringing the total number of enslaved men, women and children at Mount Vernon to more than 150 by the time the Revolutionary War began. Ona Judge Plots Her Escape. There are seven enslaved people that go, only two women, and Ona’s one of them. Despite all the hardships, Ona enjoyed the benefits of a life of freedom: She taught herself to read and write, embraced Christianity and worshiped regularly at a church of her choice. Beginning in 1789, she worked as a personal servant to First Lady Martha Washington in the presidential households in New York City and Philadelphia. But Ona certainly met her father and likely had some relationship with him given his extended stay, which was not always the case for enslaved children. When George Washington was sworn in as America’s first president in 1789, his wife Martha did not accompany him to the nation’s capital in Manhattan. Ona Judge was a slave of the Washington’s who escaped to freedom while George was President of the United States. With antislavery sentiment growing in New Hampshire, and Washington’s influence waning as his term ended, Whipple did little more to pursue Judge on his behalf. 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